Confusion About Non-Monogamy

Taking a break from the political mess for a moment.  There is something that boggles my mind about some people who claim to be non-monogamous.

It seems to more often be the female of the species that tends to have this kind of thought process.  But, I have met some men with it as well.

What is it?  It is the concept of what makes a real partner.  There are all sorts of memes and commentary out there for monogamous individuals.  Most often, they include some point defining the other person as only being in love because he (or she) puts you 100% first in their lives.

Now, for a monogamous relationship, that makes some sense except for the fact that it is an idealistic dream and rarely actually happens in real relationships.  Why? Because no one lives in a vacuum.  There are other parts to life than just the monogamous relationship.  There are parents, siblings, grandparents and also children – and sometimes those people also need to be made a priority.  In fact, in the case of children, more often than not a good parent (notice NO gender point here, because Dads can be a good parent or a bad parent, just like Moms can be good or bad) will tend to make the child(ren) a priority over the partner.  Mostly because the partner can take care of themselves, while the child or children may not be able to be independent of their parents.

The thing is, in a non-monogamous relationship, there is a need for conscious and obvious priorities.  Neither person in the relationship can say that they put the other person as the #1 priority in life.  Acknowledging there are needs that your partner may not be able to fulfill for you, or that you may not be able to fill for them, requires a willingness to occasionally be secondary in the mind of your partner.

Please note, I’m not saying that the partner should NEVER put you first, just that you accept that sometimes you won’t be #1.

Sadly, there are far too many people who try to make a non-monogamous relationship work like what they think a monogamous relationship should be.  If they don’t get the lion’s share of attention from their partner (regardless of how much attention they give or withhold from said partner), they blame the partner because they aren’t #1 100% of the partner’s time and attention.

You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t have multiple partners of your own, yet expect one or more of them to ONLY put you first 100% of the time.

But too many people are doing so.  And yes, that kind of bullshit in ANY relationship (monogamous too) can sour a person on having any kind of relationship at all.

What this amounts to is that the person expecting to be the sole priority of the other person is blindly narcissistic.  It doesn’t matter what their partner might need that they cannot or will not provide.  Because, it is NEVER about someone else’s needs.  It is ALWAYS about their own.  This kind of individual tends to see others in their lives as being 2-dimensional characters, essentially “extras,” in the movie of their lives.

NO relationship – monogamous or not – should EVER be based on the idea that any person involved is an “extra” or a 2-dimensional character. The people you love have needs, just like you do.  And part of loving someone is being willing to fulfill at least some of those needs of the person you love.  Anything else is just masturbating marriage.

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